Historical Events Sully Plantation, Chantilly Virginia

Richard Bland Lee served in the Virginia Assembly as early as 1784 and five years later was elected first Congressman from Northern Virginia, serving until 1785. Lee is credited with playing a key role in the negotiations which fixed the site of the Federal City on the banks of the Potomac. Richard Bland Lee was appointed one of three commissioners to superintend re-erection of public buildings in Washington after their destruction by the British in l8l4. He moved to Washington in 1815 when he was appointed Commissioner to Adjudicate Claims resulting from the War of l8l2. In 1819 President Monroe appointed him Judge of the Orphans' Court of the District, which office he held until his death.

General and Mrs, Washington stood as godparents at the christening of Lee's son, who was born at Sully, On that occasion the Washingtons presented the parents with a set of fine crystal glasses to drink to the infant's health. Owned by Lee descendants is a lock of the General's hair, reported also to be a souvenir of the event. General Washington's nephew and chief heir, Bushrod Washington, was a friend of Richard Bland Lee and serves as his principal attorney.

The Lee(s most intimate friends were James and Dolley Madison. Elizabeth Lee had been a bridesmaid of Dolley upon her marriage to John Todd, a Philadelphia lawyer. They continued lifelong friends and confidantes. Mrs, Madison frequently sought the seclusion of Sully as their correspondence reveals.